2012 Alumni Weekend Schedule

Friday – 27 April1500: Kick around at the Bird's Nest...Seniors will bring refreshments! 1830 'til Ole leaves 0030?: Drinks and Dinner at Colorado Mountain Brewery = Get Directions Here or take I-25 to Interquest (for the old, guys 1/2 way between the north and south gate of the Academy East of I-25 and you can take the visual approach with the nice weather we will have if you are of the pilot type). 2230: Men’s soccer team back to the AFA dorms (sorry Burgs no more designated frosh drivers)...Ole said he would give you a ride or Buck?

Saturday - 28 April 0900: Breakfast with Motrin on your own (although you would think the training room could sponsor this) 1045: Alumni Meeting in press box 1130: Alum warms up in white jersey 1200: KICK OFF Alumni (searching for that silver boot winner but don’t get the powder blue) Get your line up from Coach Lou Sagastume -- help him out and remind him the year you graduated so he knows how much time to give you Varsity will be in blue ready to go! 1400: Color Cup 1500: Cup Finals 1615ish: LAWERENCE PAUL FOR BBQ AND ALUMNI AWARDS (On Campus - West of the chapel)

Sunday - 29 April 0800: Golf (Eisenhower for golf on Blue Course) – 10 tee times and will have the traditional tee off with hecklers allowed on tee # 1 (KORPACK PROMISED HE WOULD DRIVE THE GREEN WITH THE SOCCER COLARED GOLF BALL or buy the first round…make sure you show for this big hit!

Start Planning for Alumni Weekend 2012

I hope the new year is treating all you Birds well. The new VP and I have coordinate with Coach Hill and Alumni Weekend 2012 will be held during the last weekend in April. The change from the normal first weekend in May is due to scheduling conflicts with the team. A more detailed schedule will be posted sometime in February, but we'd like to give you a head start on searching for tickets. Start planning to bring it! What: Alumni Weekend 2012 Where: USAF Academy When: 27-29 April 2012

Basic Schedule: 27 April - Kick Around 28 April - Alumni vs Varsity, Color Cup 29 April - Tee Time

'02 No Limits - Go Red!

el Pres.

2011 Fall Alumni Itinerary

The Soccer game vs Denver is at 6 PM FRIDAY, NOV 4th. The game was originally planned for Saturday.  We will start the tailgate at 5pm at the soccer stadium!  We just came off beating #22 on Sunday, looking good!! For those going to the AF Football game, or just want to tailgate, the kickoff is at 1:30 MST. We will be shooting for Lot #2, look for the Colorado Flag on my Black Jeep Wrangler.

Some food and drinks will be provided at both.  (Burgers, Dogs, Chips, Salad, Drank (Water, Others). Looks like Sat might be chilly, so maybe a camelbak with hot chocolate might be a legit idea.  We don't currently have a surplus of funds, so donations would be appreciated.

As for activities on Sat night, we will see how many alumni we have this weekend and come up with something if appropriate, and if the weather is good on Sunday, we have 5 tee times starting around 11am.  If you plan on golfing, please speak to either myself or Brandon Jones on Fri/Sat.

If you need anything else, phone number is below.  Looking forward to

Dan Walsh 702-544-0234

2011 Fall Alumni Weekend

Birds! Question: What starts with an "A" and rhymes with awesome? Answer: AF Fall Alumni.

This fall, we are going to host alumni weekend the weekend of the 4-6 Nov 2011! We have a night game against Denver at 6 PM Friday the 4th, and on the 5th, the Football team takes on Army. We will plan on doing a tail-gate for both events. We don't have the funding to get Football tickets for everyone, but I will look into get a block of tickets.

The Birds are 6-2, and looking good! They open up conference play at home next weekend with games against UNLV (7 PM, Oct 7th), and New Mexico (1 PM, Oct 9th). Lets get a large contingent for these games as well! We can use this as an alumni warm up, testing how much we can heckle before getting booted out of the stadium. The first 20 attendees will get a free hand-shake and smile from Brandon Jones ('02).

There was some conversations about alumni falling on next weekend, however, I don't believe it had been communicated to the masses. To enable those traveling more time for tickets, we are setting the date to the 4-6 Nov. Hopefully this has not ruined any plans. If so, please send an e-mail to Terry Welliver ('02) or Dan Walsh ('04): afaalum at gmail dot com.

If you plan on coming to the Football game, let me know how many people are with your party.

Hope everything in life is going well, and people can still juggle a soccer ball at least 7 times. Feel free to contact me with any issues/questions.


Dan Walsh ('04)

John Blaha

I like what T.S. Elliot wrote.  “Only those who will risk going too far can possibly find out how far one can go.”  I use a metaphor, very complex, when translating for my kids. If you don’t take the shot, you’ll never score. It’s, of course, a goal thing. We’re soccer players, we like goals. As kids, then cadets, many of us BIRDS probably had goals of playing pro soccer, designing the next great invention or flying cool jets . After graduation, a few of us got paid to play. Some of us stayed planted on terra firma, enjoying the rigors of a varied and challenging military career. Others ventured skyward, slipping surlies and traveling the planet. One of us, a fellow soccer alum, took good aim and achieved goals that took him places only a handful are lucky enough to visit. John Blaha (’65) was an Air Force man’s son. He grew up all over, but calls San Antonio home. Way late by today’s standards, his first soccer experience occurred on the playground of his high school junior year in Wiesbaden, Germany. Where else?! He was your typical cadet in training. Good grades, good athlete, good kid. He entered the class of ’65 with three other defensively minded teens, Rodman, Gritsavage, and Udicello. The four of them would form a unit, reminiscent for me of the ’77 line of Olson, Twohig, Wynn (‘78ers) and Weiland (’79). Blaha and buds were nicknamed the “Backfield 4,” punishing opponents their senior season. Although the stats for that year are floating somewhere in the archival heavens, recollection has it the Backfield 4 might be just behind the ’77 boys in least goals allowed in a season.

John enjoyed his academy years. Majoring in engineering, he also tried his hand, both hands, at baseball and gymnastics. He dreamed of flying fighters right after graduating, but held off to pursue a masters in Astro at Purdue. Willie (you young guys will have to Google that) in Phoenix followed, where he met his life mate Brenda, mother to their three children. Then came the F-4, A-37, F-102, F-106, F-104, 361 missions of which were in Vietnam. Just four years removed from the battles on the USAFA pitch, while in the 3rd TFW at Bien Hoa, he created a soccer team to play against the local Vietnamese. The friendly match between field enemies was in stark contrast to the real battle waging beyond the base fence.

Next was test pilot at Edwards, test pilot with the RAF and, finally, in 1980, he joined the ranks of which only 335 Americans have done to date, United States Astronaut. He would fly 5 space missions, two as commander, two as pilot, one as a scientist, in all, logging 161 days in space. He flew with cosmonauts in 1996/1997 to spend 4 months in the Mir space station. Afterward, his physical state was much like that following a loss and the subsequent Coach Carmen Anillo rehabilitation practice. Well, maybe just a bit worse. Took him six weeks to feel normal again, six months for a full recovery. In 1995, he was elected into the US Astronaut Hall of Fame,. At the induction, NASA said he and fellow inductees, “helped stretch the boundaries of the space shuttle fleet's capabilities.” That, of course, should have been more than enough, but when he returned to his “home” town of San Antonio, he joined the executive management group at USAA.

John attributes his successes to setting achievable short term goals while always working to reach the long term ones. For those of us still on the ascent, he offers maybe a cliché, but his success is it’s testament, “you only live life once, so go for it.”  To punctuate, he adds, don’t ever forget, “you are working for America.” From humble beginnings, past the hallowed ramp and green athletic fields, out of this world, John Blaha has certainly gone for it. Yes, our fellow BIRD shot for the upper 90’s and truly found how far he could go.

Read a couple of John's accounts from two missions... Space and People Mir 22 Space Mission

Read more about John's remarkable career... Biographical Data Pulling It Together


Alumni Weekend Itinerary

Friday - April 29th, 2011

  • 1500: show at the Birds nest for kick around
  • 1900: Dinner at All American Sports Cafe (out north gate road to Voyager, take a right on Voyager, on the left about a mile down)
  • Billy Minor's house after dinner...lives right behind All American

Saturday, April 30th, 2011

  • 1045: show in the press box
  • 1200: kick off for Alumni game

Sunday, May 1st, 2011

  • 0745: show at Eisenhower for golf on Blue Course


download schedule: icalrss | html

Birds lose hard fought match to Colorado Rapids

First off, a reminder about Alumni weekend.  It is 30 Apr - 2 May.  Normally it is the first full weekend in May but those are the days this year. The Birds fought hard last night in their first Spring match against the Rapids.  The Rapids scored one goal in each half but the play was pretty even for long stretches.  Matt Underwood made several nice saves and Kevin Durr was classy as always in the center of the park.  We did have a few good chances but the rust was evident in the final third.  Welcome back Johnny Melcher.  He played very well having missed most of last season with injury.  The future looks bright for the upcoming season and the Alumni could be facing an arssss kicking in a few weeks.  Hope to see you for our 20th Alumni weekend.  Wow!!!  Even though every one of them is AWESOME, lets push this one up a notch.

See ya in a few weeks.


In Foster We Trust

Chris Foster Named Men's Soccer Assistant Coach'89 grad is No. 2 on school's career scoring list with 139 points

from: <http://www.goairforcefalcons.com/sports/m-soccer/spec-rel/073010aaa.html>

Men's soccer assistant coach Chris Foster July 30, 2010

Former Air Force soccer player Chris Foster has been hired as an assistant coach for the Falcon men's soccer program, according to head coach Doug Hill. Foster, who recently retired from the U.S. Air Force with the rank of Lieutenant Colonel, had served as a volunteer assistant for the program the last four seasons.

"We are very happy to officially have Chris on board with us," said Hill. "His familiarity with the program and our players will make this a very smooth transition. Having one of the best players in program history on our staff will enhance our on-field performance as well as recruiting."

Foster graduated from the Academy with a degree in engineering mechanics in 1989. He also has an MBA, a master of military operational arts and science, was a distinguished graduate of Squadron Officers School and the Air Command and Staff College and is a graduate of Air War College.

A four-year starter for Air Force, Foster is No. 2 on AFA's career scoring list (139 points) and the program's career leader with 31 assists. He was a three-time all-region selection, earned All-American honors in 1988 and was the first soccer player to receive the USAFA Male Athlete of the Year award. He was selected for the College Senior Bowl, a member of the 1989 University Games Team, the U.S. National "B" Team (1988-90) and represented the United States on the Senior Division National Team.

Following graduation, Foster was stationed at the Academy as an assistant soccer coach and played professionally for the Colorado Foxes in the APSL's inaugural season. He then attended undergraduate pilot training at Williams AFB, Ariz., where he was awarded the Daedalian Trophy for flying excellence and was briefly stationed at Holloman AFB, N.M., where he played for the New Mexico Chiles in the USISL.

Foster has been stationed at Bitburg and Spangdahlem AB, Germany; Tyndall and Eglin AFB, Fla.; RAF Valley, Wales; Langley AFB, Va., and NAS Keflavik, Iceland. He is a command pilot with over 1,500 hours in the F-15C, including over 250 combat hours. Prior to his retirement, he was the 306 FTG Liaison to the Academy and an instructor pilot at the Academy airfield.

Foster is the father of two children, Christopher (14) and Kylie (7).

Alumni Weekend 2010 Schedule

Birds, Less than 3 weeks until another weekend of fun in the sun (hopefully).  The weekend timetable is complete other than Saturday night.  So far we have left the night open like last year but that might change.  If we do put an event in that night we will let you know ASAP.  If you are coming for the weekend but have not let us know please email me at this address so that I can give a good head count to Indigo Joe's for Friday night (directions below).  Thanks!!  If you are coming and don't have a place to stay let me know  so we can get you hooked up.  Here is the itinerary:

Friday - 30 April

1530 - Kick Around in the Bird's Nest (soccer stadium).  Usually lasts until Beer is gone.  Beverages provided by the Class of 2010.

1900 - Dinner and Social Misbehaviour at Indigo Joe's Sports Pub & Restaurant. Young lads and Ole Olsen usually head downtown around 2300 hrs or so.

Saturday - 1 May

1030 - Alumni Meeting at the Soccer Stadium Press Box

1200 - Alumni Game Kickoff

1400 - Class Colored Cup

1600 - Awards ceremony and lots of laughter

Saturday night is currently under review

Sunday - 2 May

0800 - Show time at Eisenhower Blue Course

0830 - 1st Tee Time.  We have 10 times reserved so if you want to play there is plenty of room.

Approx 1400 - Ball Toss at Silver Course Tossing Green.

Pat McKenna

PS Check out last years pics: AW 2009

Directions from USAFA to Indigo Joe's View Larger Map

Updated Fall Alumni Weekend Schedule!

Latest and greatest itinerary for the Fall Alumni Weekend. Updated on 13 Sep 2009. Friday 18 Sep 1700: AFA Women Soccer vs Cal Poly (Buckley presentation from Women's Soccer Team at halftime 1930: Dinner at Indigo Joes Sports Bar and Grill (located 2 blocks east of Powers off of Barnes just North of the Sky Sox Stadium)

Saturday 19 Sep 1000: Golf at Eisenhower Silver Course (5 tee times beginning at 1030) 1500: Tailgate at Soccer Stadium (Food, Presentations, Kick Around etc) 1900: Air Force vs Army at the Bird's Nest

Sunday 20 Sep 0845: Marty Buckley Coaching Retirement Golf Tourney at Eisenhower Silver Course (5 tee times beginning at 0918) 1100: AFA Women Soccer vs New Hampshire at the Bird's Nest ( for those who do not want to Golf) 1400: Ball Toss

Remembering a Fallen Bird...

Excerpt: Capt. Mark Russell McDowell, Air Force Academy Graduation, 2005 Air Force Capt. Mark McDowell died July 17 when his F-15E crashed in Afghanistan, according to the U.S. Department of Defense.

It is with great sadness that I pass on the news about Mark McDowell. One of his classmates, Andy Dulin, describes Mark as a kind, down to earth Southern Boy who was a joy to be around. Mark was recruited as an outside midfielder and played on the JV squad his Fourth Class year. Could those of you who knew Mark please reply to all with some memories, stories or words about him?

El Presidente


2009 Fall Alumni Weekend

Birds, I hope this letter finds you and your families well.  I want to start this letter with a sincere thank you and best of luck to Coach Marty Buckley.  For those of you that have not heard, after 23 great years, Buck has announced his retirement from coaching at the Air Force Academy.   Larry Friend (85), Buck’s longtime assistant takes over the program and is very excited about the upcoming season.

What can I say…Another fantastic Alumni weekend in the books.  There was some spectacular soccer played and from what I saw (from the press box of course) the Birds should show great improvement this fall.  They thoroughly trounced the Alumni with senior striker Steve Noller bagging a couple sweet goals.  Awards from the weekend went to the following individuals:  The Ole’ award (top defensive performance) went to Tim Murphy (97).  Murph made several brilliant saves to keep the score from becoming a blow out.  The Silver Boot went to Chris Cullen (94).  Chris played a lot of minutes and held together the midfield for both the Alums and the Red team.  Speaking of Red they repeated as Class Colored Cup champs defeating a very skilled and under-manned Gold side.  The coveted Powder Blue was once again a controversial choice but worthy nonetheless.  Dan Walsh (04) won a split decision over Brandon Jones (02).  Dan wore the uniform proudly out on the town Saturday night and we are still waiting for Marcus Sagastume to post the video on our Alumni website.  Congrats to this year’s award winners and losers!  The weather was awful on Saturday but broke up nicely for golf on Sunday morning.  The weekend turnout was great and a million thanks to the Men and women’s staffs for helping us put together another successful Alumni Weekend.

So again we anxiously await another year until the birds rejoin and reminisce about their glory days…

But wait…We’ve got some great news! As you all know, our Alumni Association is second to none here at the AFA.  We’ve had tremendous turnouts over the years.  Many of you treat Alumni Weekend as the biggest holiday of the year (even more so than Christmas or your kids’ birthdays!).  Words cannot do justice to the great time we have; from the first day at the kick-around and the final day on the golf course with the ball toss.

This past May a few of you had mentioned the possibility of having Alumni Weekend in the fall.  As the idea spread amongst the Alumn, it became apparent that we consider this option.  Coach Hill, Ole Olson, Greg Walsh and I discussed this possibility.  We decided it would be a great idea to hold a FALL Alumni Weekend; not as replacement to our traditional Spring Alumni Weekend but as an addition, so that the birds can reunite twice during the year and support the birds during their Fall season.

So that being said, we are having our inaugural FALL ALUMNI WEEKEEND 2009 from 18-20 Sep.  For this inaugural event, we want to honor Coach Buck for his 23 years of dedicated service to both the men’s and women’s programs.  Below is the tentative schedule of events:

Fall Alumni Weekend 2009 Friday, 18 Sep 1500    Kick Around 1700    Tailgate at Soccer Stadium to honor Coach Buck and to support Larry Friend as the new head coach! 1900    AFA vs. Cal Poly (Women’s Varsity) 2100   Restaurant (TBD) Saturday, 19 Sep 1000    Golf 1600    Tailgate at Soccer Stadium 1900    AFA vs. Army (Men’s Varsity) 2100    Celebrate Win! (Location TBD) Sunday, 20 Sep 0800    Golf Tourney 1300    Ball Toss

This schedule is subject to change, so please email me your inputs for this weekend.

I’m also pleased to announce that we are going to expand our gear purchasing for the fall weekend.  Brandon Jones is working with the folks at Nike to get authentic Nike apparel that is available to the team for us to purchase at cost.  We hope to have all of the choices available for order by the end of July.  More news about gear to come from Brandon in the upcoming days.

I look forward to seeing many of you this fall.  The Army game 2 years ago was packed.  Additionally Doug Hill is going to make this weekend their primary recruiting weekend.  What a great opportunity for these young men to meet the Birds of the past.  With just over 2 months until this weekend we will give weekly updates about the itinerary and other logistics.  Go Birds!

Pat McKenna (87) El Presidente mas guapo y gordo